Google's Transparency Report Now Includes Political Ad Spend

Google has now added information regarding politically-motivated advertising on its Search platform to its frequently updated Transparency Report. As a result, viewers of the report can now see an outline of overall state-by-state ad spending, in addition to which advertisers are spending the most. The report also provides a set of metrics and keywords that provide further insight into exactly who is being targeted by various campaigns, as well as a closer look at recent and current ads. Overall, the Ad Library functions as a searchable index of election-focused ads and provides deeper information about the entire ad campaign or campaigns of individual advertisers. The tool is made available in two places, both in the new political ad section on the Google Transparency Report and via Google Cloud's BigQuery API.

With regards to state-by-state political advertisement spending disclosures, Google provides two key resources on its Transparency Report site. The first is a country-wide interactive map, with the ability to hover-over any state and see that state's most recently recorded spending on Google Search Ads. That allows for easy cross-referencing between any two states. For example, hovering over Wyoming shows spending is now at $16,500 while a quick flick of the mouse shows spending in California at $356,900. The color coding of the map also helps users to quickly focus in on those states with higher-spending. Florida's deep blue coloration indicates that advertisers have spent $1,148,900 in that state. An alphabetically-sorted chart is also provided to help those who aren't familiar with the U.S. map to discover their own state's spending.

Another chart displayed in the Transparency Report lists any advertising agency that has spent in excess of $500 on political advertising starting from the end of May 2018. That's sorted by the amount spent, and for the time being is topped by the Trump Make America Great Again Committee at $629,500. The advertisers One Nation and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. follow close behind with $440,300 and $341,600, respectively. For reference, there are currently 210 advertisers shown in the chart. Last but not least, the search giant shows that current top keywords advertisers are targeting include the term "ACLU" and several top political figures such as Diane Black and Rick Scott. Spending on ads linked to the listed top terms ranges from $25,200 to $37,500.

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